The widow of a police motorcyclist who died on duty while she was six months pregnant has shared a heart-warming photo of the baby snuggled alongside his father’s helmets.
Samantha Dixon, a family liaison officer, was reading messages on Thames Valley Police’s computer system when she discovered that her husband PC James ‘Dixie’ Dixon had been killed on duty.
The 35 year-old, from Thatcham, Berkshire, met James at a first aid course about 10 years ago and the pair married in 2016.
The widow of a police motorcyclist who died on duty while she was six months pregnant has shared a heart warming picture of the son baby snuggled alongside his father’s helmets
Keen to start a family, the couple spent 10 months trying to conceive before Samantha was delighted to discover she was pregnant in July 2017.
The newlyweds set about planning their new life together but their happiness was short-lived when PC Dixon, who starred in Sky One’s Road Wars, died on December 5, 2017 during a training exercise.
The 39-year-old was killed instantly when the motorcycle he was riding hit a car. An elderly passenger in the car was also killed.
Samantha gave birth to her first child on March 12 this year and poignantly called him Parker Cameron James Dixon – spelling out his late father’s initials PC J Dixon.
Samantha Dixon, a family liaison officer, was reading messages on Thames Valley Police’s computer system when she discovered that her husband PC James ‘Dixie’ Dixon had been killed on duty
Speaking of the cruel moment she realised the father of her unborn child had died, Samantha said: ‘I used to worry about him all the time. His job has one of the highest fatality rates.
‘The week before there had been lots of rain and terrible flooding and I remember being particularly worried but the day he died was a pretty normal really.
‘It was overcast and generally nice so I didn’t think much about him and what he was doing.
Samantha gave birth to her first child on March 12 this year and poignantly called him Parker Cameron James Dixon – spelling out his late father’s initials PC J Dixon
‘I actually thought I was on call so when I saw there had been an accident I was getting ready to deploy someone to assist the family when I realised it was him.
‘Once I read that he was in traumatic cardiac arrest I stopped reading.
‘I think I went into professional mode. I was very aware that I had a baby growing inside me and I was only 27 weeks at that point so I didn’t want to bring on early labour.
‘We’d recently got a puppy together, called Turbo, and I suddenly had a massive urge to go and be with him. I think it’s because it was the last big thing we had done together and we had nurtured him together.
‘Luckily I have a massively supportive family and they really helped me through but strangely I also wanted to protect them too.
‘They were so close to Dixie, some might even say unnaturally close. Particularly for my mum and dad as he was like the son they never had, so I knew they were hurting too.’
Dixie’s funeral took place at Saint James the Less Church in Pangbourne in January this year and around 600 people turned out to pay their respects.
Brave Samantha gave a speech in the church and said feeling her baby move inside her gave her comfort during one of the most difficult moments of her life.
PC Dixon, who starred in Sky One’s Road Wars, died on December 5, 2017 during a training exercise
She said: ‘It was really hard to do but it was incredibly important to me because it was my last chance to say everything I wanted to say.
‘There were moments during the speech when I got really emotional and bean – which is what we nicknamed the baby – would kick or move.
‘It was like it was saying ‘come on mum we’ve got this, let’s do this for dad.’
‘I think being pregnant with his baby helped me through it all. I allowed myself to grieve and be sad but I didn’t want to start panicking and losing it too much because I didn’t want anything to happen to the baby.
‘It was my last link to Dixie and I owed it to him to look after his baby.’
Parker is now two months old and Samantha has been getting to grips with life as a single mother
Samantha, who didn’t find out the gender of her baby, was induced when she was five days overdue and Parker was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital by emergency c section after 36 hours labour.
Her mum and sister stepped in to be birthing partners following the death of James.
Samantha said: ‘When he was born the consultant held him up so I could see what sex he was. Mum and I just broke down.
‘It was such a great moment but it was tinged with sadness because it was the son he’d never get to meet.
PC James Dixie Dixon. The 39-year-old was killed instantly when the motorcycle he was riding hit a car. An elderly passenger in the car was also killed
‘Those first few moments were magical but also one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do because it was something we should have been doing together.
‘After Dixie had died I remember thinking perhaps it would be better if the baby was a girl. I was worried if it was a boy there would be too much pressure on him to fill his dad’s boots and they’re big boots to fill.
‘But once he was here I was thrilled to have a boy. I had already decided a girl would be Poppy Chloe Jayne Dixon so the initials would still be the same but it’s nice to actually have James in Parker’s name and it’s really lovely that the surname will be carried on.
‘He’s an absolute spit of his dad. You can see it most in his eyes and mouth. I know sometimes in these circumstances people just see what they want to see but everyone says it. it’s not just me.
‘Dixie was never that fussed about marriage or children he liked his motorbikes, his heavy metal and was very career driven. I think he thought a family would mean that would have to stop.
‘But he was an all or nothing kind of person and once he had decided on something he put his heart and soul into it.
‘He didn’t have a romantic bone in his body but his proposal was actually really romantic. And once we were engaged he was more excited about the wedding than me.
‘He put 100 per cent into everything and having a baby was no different. He had always said I was the only one he ever saw himself having children with. It took us ten months to conceive and once I was pregnant he was really protective of me.’
Parker is now two months old and Samantha has been getting to grips with life as a single mother.
Samantha, 35, from Thatcham, Berkshire, met James at a first aid course about 10 years ago and the pair married in 2016 (pictured right)
She said: ‘Day to day it can be hard. During the day it’s not too bad because we’re out and about but it’s little things like at night if I realise I’m out of milk and Parker is already in bed I can’t just pop out.
‘I didn’t really notice it as much when he was a newborn because a lot of men tend to be a bit of a spare part at that time anyway. But now he’s getting older and needs a bit more attention and stimulation I think it hits me more.
‘I have very supportive friends and family who are more than happy to help me though.
‘He’s generally a happy baby, he only gets angry when he’s hungry which is just like his dad. Dixie always used to get ‘hangry’ so I often say to him ‘you’re just like your daddy.’
‘I have pictures all over the house and talk to Parker about his daddy all the time.
Speaking of the future proud mother Samantha, who is currently on maternity leave, said she’s looking forward to returning to her work as a liaison officer
‘Dixie touched so many people’s hearts so although Parker has a couple of ‘real’ aunties and uncles he has dozens more who will no doubt enjoy telling him lots of stories when he’s older.
‘Some of Dixie’s team made a lovely photobook for me and Parker. There lots of pictures and anecdotes in there which I’ll enjoy looking through with Parker when he’s older.
‘Road Wars even made us a DVD of his time on the show for us to watch. It sounds strange but Parker is quite lucky in that respect because at least he’ll be able to watch his dad and hear what his voice sounded like.’
Speaking of the future proud mother Samantha, who is currently on maternity leave, said she’s looking forward to returning to her work as a liaison officer.
She said: ‘After everything that’s happened I’m keen to get back into my FLO (family liaison officer) work after taking time off with Parker.
‘I feel that especially now I can empathise even more with families. I’m also considering a counselling course to help other people through hard times.
‘Dixie was always the first to volunteer to help people. Whether it be cutting down a tree or helping someone move house.
‘I want to try and carry that on for him as I know it’s what he would have wanted. It would mean he didn’t die in vain.’